Pride…

…otherwise known as GHHD1 [1]Gay High Holy Day #1 is this month. And again this year we see people in a pissing match about changes to the Pride flag. It’s downright embarrassing at times. While I tend to avoid the keyboard warrior approach, after more than a few disparaging comments, I have a few thoughts….

Claiming the flag was designed in its original form to include everyone, while technically true, is irrelevant. If you actually knew your “herstory,” you would know it was changed almost immediately after it came out. It is not sacrosanct. And nowhere did the original creator say or even infer the flag should never be changed. The only constant in life is everything changes. The flag is what we make it.

I personally like the original version only for its simplicity. It calls to me with the meaning and design. I also originally liked the idea of keeping it the same, but I listened, I learned, and I understand better now. [2]Not so hard really  And considering how co-opted the flag has become by corporations, who just want our money, I also like the idea of the new variations.

And I’m about to step on some feelings here, but it’s meant as tough love. Exactly why is it most of the complaints are coming from cis white gay men (CWGM)? Mmhmmmmmm? If you don’t like the variations of the flag then use the one you like. No one is forcing you to do otherwise. Like seriously, how are you in any way harmed? [3]The older I get the more I wish white people in general would just shut the hell up. Lawd, we have such thin skins on just about everything. 

A lot of CWGM feel attacked anytime someone calls out how often our PoC, Trans, Non-binary cousins etc aren’t as accepted in our community. And it’s good you still feel uncomfortable, it means there is still good in you. But, it is time to stop pussyfooting around and own our part. I say our because I am a CWGM. If I can learn and grow so can you. Channel those feelings in the pit of your stomach into something useful. And a word to the wise, you can disassociate any personal involvement because you’re not one of the bad gays, but that doesn’t erase the issue. You can do better by just closing your mouth, taking a seat, and listening.

You have to ask yourself, is it any real surprise many groups in our alphabet mafia [4]lovingly borrowed from TikTok don’t feel included? CWGM have spent decades using phrases like “no fats, no fems, no black, asians, straight acting only, etc“. How can you be shocked these same groups do not feel recognized? We don’t want lesbians in our bars. We don’t want trans men in our play spaces. We don’t want fem men virtually anywhere, except drag. Come on! Deep down you know why. These stigmas persist even today all over this country.

Being gay didn’t erase racism or the privilege many CWGM are afforded in society. And while you can’t always control that, it’s ok to acknowledge and accept it. You don’t need to get your knickers in a twist just because someone calls it out. Let that uncomfortable awkward feeling guide you to do better. If we did a better job making others feel included instead of “less than” us, maybe they wouldn’t need or want their own version of the pride flag. Frankly, collectively they outnumber us so be grateful the shoe isn’t on the other foot.

So… I humbly ask anyone reading this to try a different path. Instead of complaining about what the flag should be, just accept that no one person owns the Pride flag. Nor does any single group in our community own the flag. You don’t get to tell others what the Pride flag means to them. You don’t get to tell them they can’t make changes. Instead, use whatever version you feel connected too and let others do the same. /rant

*

I’ll most likely be working on Pride this year. While I have my issues with the commercialization of Pride, with recent events it is clear we still very much need it. I volunteered for the field detail overseeing medical dispatch for the fair. I have worked it for years prior to the pandemic. After the lockdowns, I’m now eager to be out there again seeing the sea of faces.

Whatever your path, I wish you a happy, safe AND inclusive Pride.

And as always, hope springs eternal….

References

References
1 Gay High Holy Day #1
2 Not so hard really
3 The older I get the more I wish white people in general would just shut the hell up. Lawd, we have such thin skins on just about everything.
4 lovingly borrowed from TikTok

Twit

Thoughts on 3lon buying the blue bird?

For myself, I barely use Twitter anymore so I’m not trying to necessarily pick a side here. I am deeply concerned about how this will unravel though. He has plans to fundamentally alter Twitter IMO. Like it or not, Twitter has become a household name. It is a mass communication tool with global reach.

I’ve already seen folks within the #alphabetmafia applauding his purchase. I wonder if they’ve thought this through. Twitter will now be privately owned, which means he can do whatever he wants with it (within some limits). He can dis(allow) any content he deems (un)worthy. He could try to monitize it thru more than just ads. What happens if he does and decides porn is no longer allowed? Can you say “Tumblr?” You may not care if porn gets the axe, but LGBT+ issues are routinely flagged as “adult material” online.

He may be the new sole owner but he leveraged that purchase and he will want a return on his investment. Keep in mind, this all started because he was censored for spreading conspiracies. Who will keep that in check now? I mean Twitter wasn’t doing a bang up job before, but there was some effort to keep it honest.

I have no idea how this will play out. I don’t have any immediate plans to delete my accounts. I also wish I could say I don’t care, but I do. The ramifications of this are breathtaking.

A single man just bought a social media company with over 300 million users. What does that kind of wealth say about our society? What does it say about our future?

Zombie Rage

If ya know me, you know I’m not a religious person. In my opinion, organized religion has become a cancer in society. It should be excised from daily life or discussions. Like your private parts, it should be shared only when asked. . .

I posted a pic of the hubby and I to FB this past weekend of us at the park enjoying the day. It was the Hunky Jesus celebration that usually happens every year in SF for Easter. [1]Excepting covid years. We had a friend in town and wanted to hang out with him. Since he wanted to go to the park, we tagged along.

Anyway, Karen proceeds to send me this long rant on FB Messenger telling me how offensive it is to refer to Jesus as a Zombie. So I replied, “1) it’s a joke, 2) I don’t believe in your Jesus, 3) I don’t care.” I had neither the time nor inclination to discuss the hilarious ironies she was so clearly missing.

That apparently REALLY set her off! *giggle* She went on an even longer rant about how evil and perverted gay people were and basically nailed every broken stereotype possible to try and offend me. Rather than waste any real effort on this gem of a human being, I replied, “perhaps you should look up the Hunky Jesus contest in San Francisco ma’am.” She apparently did and came back with a short but varied list of our evils and horrible ways I was going to die.

Moral of the story? Don’t troll random people on the internet because of “your beliefs.”

References

References
1 Excepting covid years

Petty

I try not to be too petty but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I am still a work in progress after all.

About a year or so ago this guy flirts me up on IG.  He was moving to SF and looking to “make friends“. He came on pretty heavily. I’m sure you can read between the lines on that meaning. We chatted off and on for a bit and eventually he asked if he could text me. I text him and he immediately tells me, “wow did not realize you were a ghetto android user” and then proceeds to ghost me. I clucked to myself and promptly moved on with my life. I’d forgotten about it until recently.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, he apparently moved, or at least was visiting as he sees me in the shower at the gym. He decides to get all “flirty.” To be clear, it was obvious he recognized me. My first thought was to be gracious but my pride got the better of me and I wasn’t having any of his shenanigans. I’m excellent at giving resting bitch face Right before I exited I leaned in for a moment of privacy and said, “I still own an Android.”

I did get to witness the brief look of shock on his face. I won’t lie, in that moment it felt delicious. I did feel guilty for a bit later on but also got over it just as quickly. I know it should have been beneath me but I couldn’t help myself. Frankly, if you’re that effin’ shallow, I’d rather not “know” you anyway. It’s one thing to joke or just “fanboy”, it is quite another to be so incredibly shallow.

51

It’s here folks, I’ve hit 51 today. Parts of my body definitely feel 51 but overall I don’t feel it. I always appreciate well-wishes, kudos, etc, but if you know me you know I don’t make a fuss about it.

On the flip side, realizing I’m half a century old does feel a bit weird. So what does 51 years mean? Well, I can remember when cellphones (and pagers) didn’t exist. I can remember when one had ‘friends‘ they were people you actually knew in person. I can remember the ‘before times’ when there was no internet, social media, or “apps”. I can remember when TVs had 3 or 4 channels at most and that was depending on which frequency bands you could get on your rabbit ears. [1]And god help you if you plugged in a VCR and didn’t set the TV to channel 2 or 3. “Streaming music” meant jamming an 8-track tape in a flap that did nothing to keep out years of accumulating dust and listening for the warble of the tape drive kicking in before you turned up the speakers with an actual knob. So yeah, a lot has changed.

Shawn always finds a way to do something incredibly nice or generous for me, so I’m sure it will be lovely. Age comes to us all and most days I’m just grateful I’m still here. If you read w/any regularity you know my younger years were rough and even my initial arrival in SF was a personal struggle. Having come thru it all stronger, albeit w/more scars, I feel good. One of several reasons I started this blog was to help me discover the man I wanted to be. I felt like a blank slate in many ways and needed to find my path in life. I used to think less of myself because I had been convinced I wasn’t a particularly good or moral person. I spent many years doubting I even had a sense of morality or a moral code. Considering the state of affairs today, that irony is not lost on me. Hell, I’m practically a saint by the standards we see in our politics and leaders today. All hail the great and powerful nobody….

As I move into my 51st year, I find myself trying to keep my mind and spirit focused on the things in my life I can control vs letting myself “feel some type of way” about things I have no control over. With age comes wisdom and I’m certainly trying to apply it to myself. I don’t waste a lot of time on regrets, as it just seems pointless. “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” never makes one happier. My life has been and is what is because I never gave up on myself. That pretty sums up my thoughts on my birthday. I still miss my beloved Cooper. His anniversary is just 8 days away and it’s already in my thoughts.

Of course, aging in the gay world has its own challenges. And it isn’t really a secret many gay men struggle with the lack of physical attraction as we age. I’m not tucking, jabbing, or cutting anything to pretend I’m 20 years younger than I am. I have no problem w/physical touch-ups but I’m seeing people in their 20’s, 30’s getting botox over the tiniest of lines. I weep for them in their older years. More importantly, I earned these f**king wrinkles! Luckily, I live in an area where the average age is higher so I’m not really ‘struggling‘ much…yet. 😉

I usually giggle when I hear or see folks inferring my age should deter me from activities I enjoy. Frankly, what you think of me is really none of my business. But I won’t lie, I did have to remind myself of that a few times this past year. It is one thing to be realistic, it is quite another to let yourself be pressured into avoiding life’s pursuits because of the selfish projections of others.

Lastly, I took off from work so I get a nice 5-day weekend. We didn’t really plan any trips, courtesy of Omicron [2]that bitch! but just being off is its own reward. Here’s to another year… above ground!

References

References
1 And god help you if you plugged in a VCR and didn’t set the TV to channel 2 or 3.
2 that bitch!

You

More and more I see gay men locked, or at the very least, struggling with our ever increasing labels. We’ve gone from having labels to having labels within labels it seems. You can’t be a bear anymore, you have to a specific type of bear. You can’t be a daddy, you have to be a specific type of daddy with various different new labels “instead” of the term daddy. lol You can’t be a gaymer, now you have to a specific niche of gaymer. I could list a hundred different examples here. It is enough to drive you crazy if you let it.

This time of year tends to encourage folks to ‘look to the future’ with resolutions so my advice to anyone reading… make resolutions to break away from your labels. Just be you. I’d bet money you are only hurting yourself. From my own past, I learned to let go of labels after spending years feeling isolated or “left out” from parts of gay life I saw as more desirable. In reality I was just insecure about myself and thought if I belonged to said group(s), I’d be less insecure. (Hint – it never works. You just get better at hiding your insecurities.)

It is ok to identify as a label, but step away from feeling like all you are or have to offer is said label. You are more than just a description of labels. Even if you think you fit squarely inside a defined label, there is still more to you than that. More importantly, you do not have to feel defined by the labels given to you by others. One, you will never live up to the expectations of others. Instead, work on setting your own expectations to strive and work toward. Two, strive to accept all of what and who you are. Strive to better yourself on your terms, whatever that may be.

Of course, it is easier said than done. We literally write pathways in our brain by allowing ourselves to become a “label.” But no one will make it all better for you. It is up to you to find the will to change it.

I wish you all a better year than last. 2021 wasn’t great for me, but it also wasn’t terrible. I’m hoping for an even better 2022.

Hope springs eternal….

Smelly

WTF is wrong with these guys that go to the gym and bathe with cologne products? I’m not talking about the roughly 99% of scented products either. And for the f**ker that decided to bathe in Patchouli products today in a enclosed shower space, there is a special place in hell for you! Jesus H Christ Mary Joseph & David!

For the record, if I can smell you more than 3 feet away, you stink, period. I do not care if it’s BO or cologne, no one needs to smell you that far away. Frankly, I place these people into two categories: you stink and are trying to cover it up, or you are insecure and using cologne to try and cover that up. Either way, a little dab is all it takes….NOT a bath in it!

Now get off my lawn, you kids!

Terrible

I admit it, I am a terrible person. Why you ask? Well, because I gloated to myself over another.

Ok, so I don’t feel terrible but I also know I shouldn’t gloat. Let me ‘esplain’. There is a guy at the gym who pre-pandemic was all about his fitness. That, of course, is a good thing, except he was always humble bragging about how important fitness is to one’s health and side-shaming everyone around him. He would routinely make rather insulting comments about anyone he didn’t think put in as much effort as he did. I personally witnessed him fat shame a couple ladies on treadmills to one of the few guys in the gym who would socialize with him. I could go on but I think I conveyed the point.

Oh, and he is also a grunter. Any and every exercise was like he was dying to get that last set in, except it was every set. The worst, right?!

After seeing this guy and his snotty attitude for years at the gym, imagine my surprise upon seeing him lately. OMG! He gained like 40 or 50lbs of chunk. Yes, I know this is the “I’m terrible” part but I can’t help it. And maybe gloating isn’t the right word. I mean, it isn’t like I ran up to him and said, “hey fatty” or made any of the off-hand comments in his presence he used to make about others.  No, I did not do any of that. I’m just a little gleeful to see him get some comeuppance after years of his shitty attitude.

So while I work on keeping the smugness off my face, my hope is that whatever experience he had during the pandemic has taught him a lesson. Yes, fitness is important. However, it isn’t always easy for someone to dedicate themselves to the gym. And talking smack about people on a fitness journey sure as hell doesn’t encourage them to get better or stick with it.

I’m terrible.

 

Awkward

**Disclaimer – an adult rant today about gay shit, you’ve been warned.**

I’ve been navigating the “apps” again recently. I haven’t settled on any hard and fast rules that guide me as of yet, other than honesty. Having had my vaccination shots, I’m relieved on so many levels. However, I still need to worry for those around me as the science isn’t clear yet on the level of protection. Going thru a year of very limited human contact takes its toll. And things are moving so quickly now, it may be moot by the time I figure it all out.

Anyway, I was on one such app when a rando decided to send me a long winded message telling me how non-masculine he felt I was. He was particularly detailed, which would have been comical if it weren’t so sad. He clearly lives local and has seen me around [1]His profile was of course devoid of any photos…I know, right!? lol as he listed a varied “suggestion list” of things I could do to butch it up. I’m not willing to dwell on the idea he may have actually thought he was being helpful as it would make me very sad.

The joke is on him though as I wasn’t bothered by it. To be fair, there was a time in my life when I would have been secretly devastated. However, that was a long time ago and that particular insecurity has left the building, so to speak. Lawd knows I’ve beaten that horse here often enough.

Our little letter in the alphabet mafia has had a continuing obsession with the idea of masculinity. Ask 10 of my fellow homos the meaning of the word and you’ll most like get 10 different answers. Western culture has become so dependent on the broken idea of hyper-masculinity I doubt we’ll ever sort it out.

I keep getting off topic, sorry I am a bit rusty at this.

The guy listed out my demeanor in public as a ‘dead give away‘. Well, no shit Sherlock!  I do not mold myself in the view of how others see me. I didn’t struggle with the shackles of one broken stereotype to take up another. In a word, I can be awkward at times. While I still have a few small triggers to put on my “big boy” voice, I strive not to put on a facade. My hubby calls it my work voice. Anyway, some random task or action can invoke my rather absent-minded approach to things. There isn’t a lot of forethought put into it, I just act. If that destroys your image of me, oh well. We have a saying for that where I’m from…bless your heart. I’ve learned my demeanor also has the affect of putting people at ease around me. People rarely feel threatened or triggered by me and without realizing it often relax into a more authentic version of themselves. [2]There are few who have the opposite reaction and think I’m an easy mark. They often find out quickly I’m also not stupid.  It was quite a revelation when that little kernel of knowledge dawned on me all those years ago.

Of course, now that I’m an elder and on the council I do have to maintain an image. lolol I politely told him his ‘advice’ was not needed. I didn’t feel the need to thank him though. *giggle* Was I too subtle?

 

References

References
1 His profile was of course devoid of any photos…I know, right!? lol
2 There are few who have the opposite reaction and think I’m an easy mark. They often find out quickly I’m also not stupid.